Finns take semi-naked sauna on summit of Mont Blanc
Published 26/08/2010 | 13:58
Four adventurous Finns have set up a 'pop-up' sauna on the top of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe.
A team of Finnish mountaineers have conquered the highest peak in Western Europe, before stripping down to their underwear to construct a "pop-up" sauna on the summit.
The four-man group climbed Mont Blanc in France on Saturday, reaching the summit in sub-zero conditions.
They then proceeded to erect the sauna, using a specially designed wood-fired oven and tent, on the mountain top, which stands at 4,810 metres above sea level.
Needing a clear day and good weather for their venture, the Finnish adventurers had embarked up the mountainside in darkness so they could set up the sauna tent before dawn.
Once they were at the top, the intrepid Finns put up the tent and fired a sauna stove that had been specifically designed to burn wood at altitude, before relaxing in the heat with a magnificent view across the Mont Blanc massif.
"The sauna got so hot that it felt quite refreshing to wash in the snow at -5C outside," said Kari Härkönen, one of the mountaineers who took part.
The team had previously spent time training with professional mountaineers to acclimatise themselves to the high altitude.
Once they had taken their sauna, the expedition members dismantled the tent and began their descent down the mountain.